The training plan should be flexible so that it can be adapted for unforeseen circumstances. Through discussion between the training officer and the trainee, the training plan should be reviewed and amended as often as is needed.
The following behaviours, from both trainee and training officer, can help to make training planning a successful activity:
- Use the Curriculum Library extensively in order to understand the competenciesand workplace-based assessments that need to be achieved.
- Map out when the workplace-based modules will be undertaken over the 3 years.
- Set up a learning agreement with clear expectations of trainee and training officer obligations.
- Be flexible and adapt the plan to fit in with the trainee’s circumstances.
- Trainees must respect the trainer as the professional expert.
- Ensure there is communication and collaboration between the trainee, training officer and all other departments involved with training.
- Have regular review meetings with the trainee. In these, the trainee could take the minutes and define actions.
- Have an outline plan for at least the full academic year so that, for example, so the trainee knows where they are going for rotations.
- The trainee should lead and own the training plan as time goes by, identifying any gaps and periodically working with the training officer to check progress is being made and then agreeing and setting milestones for future progress together.
Training planning tips for training officers
- Agree achievable SMART objectives; for example, setting deadlines for specific competencies.
- Give considerable thought to how you provide supportive, formative feedback to trainees. (See the feedback checklist below)
- Reflect on past experiences, on what has worked well and what has not worked with previous trainees.
- Get to know the individual trainee. What are their skills gaps? Consider what the individual trainee has done prior to the training programme. Account for their strengths and weaknesses.
- Every trainee is different, with different personal circumstances, which need to be factored into planning.
- Ensure that the trainee fully understands what good competency evidence look like.
- Make opportunities for the trainee to get involved with patients and the public in their training.
- Ensure that you know what is required from the trainees by their academic programme. Allow for protected time for academic study, and for preparation for university exams and assessments.
- Get the trainee to think about their research project from day one.
- Communicate the training plan to the whole department and all departments involved with training, giving them as much information as possible.
- Don’t leave all the hardest competencies to the end.